Monday

19th Aug 2019

Dutch FM condemns arrest of journalist in Turkey

  • The Dutch journalist - who reports on Kurdish affairs - was detained for several hours on Tuesday (Photo: Carmen Alonso Suarez)

On the day the Dutch foreign minister visited the Turkish capital Ankara, a Dutch journalist was briefly arrested at her home in Diyarbakir, a southeastern city with mainly Kurdish inhabitants.

Frederike Geerdink announced via social media, and later told Dutch Radio 1, on Tuesday (6 January) that nine Turkish police from the anti-terrorism unit searched her house.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • Dutch minister for foreign affairs Koenders (l) speaking to Turkish prime minister Davutoglu. (Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Netherlands)

The Dutch journalism union, the NVJ, on Wednesday also announced that a Dutch-Turkish journalist was arrested for making photos in a court room in 2013.

Geerdink was not taken into custody, but taken to a police station for questioning, an event she described as “very intimidating”.

The Dutch journalist, one of the few foreign correspondents based in Diyarbakir, often writes about the Kurdish minority in Turkey.

Geerdink said she was suspected of creating propaganda for a terrorist organisation.

“They mean the PKK,” she said, referring to the Kurdistan Workers' Party.

“They asked me about my interview with Cemil Bayik, the second in command of the PKK. … Citing someone like that can [in Turkey] be explained as creating propaganda.”

Geerdink was released the same day, but her arrest was criticised by the Netherlands.

“It is good news that Geerdink is free again, but press freedom in Turkey will remain an important focus for the Netherlands and the European Union”, minister Bert Koenders said in a statement.

“Intimidation of journalists is unacceptable”, Koenders added.

The Dutch politician was in Turkey to improve relations between the two countries, which were strained in November when the Turkish ministry of foreign affairs criticised Dutch immigration policies.

Koenders also met with Turkish journalists and human rights activists.

“In the past year Turkish citizens were confronted with breaches of judicial independence, limitations in the area of freedom of speech, arrests of journalists and raids on media. Those are worrying developments”, he said.

In late 2014, the Turkish police arrested around 30 journalists, a move that resulted in heavy criticism from the EU.

The European Parliament is next week set to discuss media freedom in Turkey in its plenary session in Strasbourg.

Centre-left MEP Kati Piri said on Dutch radio that the situation for journalists in Turkey is deteriorating.

“We have seen in the past two years … a decline in press freedom”, Piri said.

But Turkey's leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has rejected the EU's criticism, telling the bloc to “mind its own business”.

EU ends silence on Hong Kong protests

The EU, in league with Canada, has spoken out on the Hong Kong protests after months of silence in what one expert called "a clear expression of support for the protesters".

Exclusive

Selmayr did not keep formal records of lobby meetings

The German former secretary-general of the European Commission held some 21 meetings which were registered in the lobby register. But no documents appeared to exist summarising what was said.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  5. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  7. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  8. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  9. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  10. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North

Latest News

  1. EU ends silence on Hong Kong protests
  2. Is Salvini closing just harbours or also the rule of law?
  3. No-deal Brexit would seriously harm UK, leaked paper says
  4. Selmayr did not keep formal records of lobby meetings
  5. EU asked to solve migrant rescue deadlock
  6. Internal EU paper: Second Brexit vote was no longer 'distant dream'
  7. EU has 'zero incentive' to break open 'trilogue' deals
  8. Denmark plans import ban on EU-approved pesticide

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us